27 July 2016

Aging without children

Some thoughts about an overlooked demographic group:
[People ageing without children] includes those who aren’t parents (either by choice or circumstance), as well as those who are estranged or geographically separated from their adult children; those whose children have care needs of their own; or whose children predeceased them.

Ageing without Children (AWOC) was set up in 2014 by Kirsty Woodard and three other campaigners to raise awareness and provide support to this significant, yet hidden, group in our society...

Indeed, the government line on ageing is that ‘families must do more’ - ignoring those for whom that isn’t an option...

Reactions to the issues of ageing without children can be surprisingly cruel and unsupportive, often along the lines of: ‘Well, you should have had kids then,’ without knowing anything of the individual’s experience...
More at The Telegraph.


  1. the tone of
    ‘Well, you should have had kids then,’ without knowing anything of the individual’s experience...
    infers there is a justification somewhere for cruelty to those that chose to live a life sans family.
    How long would anything we hold dear be sustainable if for every man and woman walking around we could expect 2.5 kids? Fibonacci anyone?
    Suddenly, it starts to appear that 'growth and progress' is just another pyramid scam: Lots of fun and profit for those that get in early, empty hands and stomachs for those at the back of the line who can't find as many behind them to buy in (I am looking at you, Social Security).
    We all pay a little for things we don't use in trust that society will help us with the things we need and if we don't need anything = lucky us. No?

  2. "You should have had kids" is dumb, but "you should have saved some of the $100,000 you saved by not having kids for your retirement" is valid. I do question how much the average kid contributes to their parents -- so far in my life (age 40), the flow has always been from parents to children. I know Stan does a lot more.

  3. Noumenon, I agree with your statement -- and I'll add the "having kids" thing doesn't always work out the way you want. My parents spent the last 10-15 years of their lives getting bled dry by my brother, who started out successful and then self imploded (not drugs or booze, as far as I know, just selfishness) destroying his kids, my parents, and if my other brother doesn't eventually put the brakes on "helping him out", him as well (he in for probably $200K already.) I swear the stress from his constant (totally reasonable in his mind) demands hurried my parents to their graves.

  4. I am an AWOC. I am 60. I have nieces and nephews that take no interest in me. If they knew how much money and real estate I have they might feel differently, but I'm not telling them.

  5. I'm guessing the people who think that families can (or want to, or should) care for elders, are the same ones who think a summer job will cover college tuition and a down payment on a house.


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